The following is from the July 16, 2013 Congressional Research Service report on Bahrain. The U.S. has close ties to the country in the Persian Gulf. The Navy’s U.S. 5th Fleet Headquarters is in Bahrain.
The Obama Administration has not called for an end to the Al Khalifa regime, but it has criticized its human rights abuses and urged it to undertake more substantial political reform. The U.S. criticism has angered some Al Khalifa officials but it has also dissatisfied human rights activists who assert that the United States is downplaying regime abuses because of U.S. dependence on the security relationship with Bahrain. Bahrain has provided key support for U.S. interests— particularly the containment of Iran—by hosting U.S. naval headquarters for the Gulf for over 60 years. Read More